Anyone who’s ever flown in a plane has heard the flight attendant say: ‘Before trying to help anyone else, put on your own oxygen mask.’ This advice is important not just for surviving mid-air disasters: It is common sense for living a long healthy life.

For many, the reason we don’t prioritize ourselves is that we’re afraid others will view us as being selfish. The idea of putting our self-care first on our long list of priorities is perceived as running counter to the many positive traits we all try to uphold. 

Let’s break down this false thinking: First, we can’t control what anyone thinks about us. And second, don’t you think everyone benefits because we’re less stressed, happier and healthier?  Putting ourselves last is kind of an extension of sometime long ago when we didn’t finish dinner and someone shamed us by saying: ‘Don’t you know there are starving people in the world?’ While this is true & we don’t want to waste food, this thinking stems from fear of scarcity vs. joyful abundance. Taking care of ourselves doesn’t take time away from anyone or anything else. It actually enhances our energy, giving us more oomph to spend better quality time with those we love, and hopefully doing more things that increase our life satisfaction, which also would make us each more pleasant to be around!

When life stresses are building from all that we manage daily, if we haven’t allowed time for exercise & preparing proper, nutritious meals…we’re gambling & playing health roulette.

Taking care of our health needs to be everyone’s number one priority. We each need to figure out how to rewrite our schedules. Don’t forget: We cannot get to work & care for our families if we get sick. So first things first: Remember what we eat, how we move our bodies, getting adequate rest, laughing & having fun are essential as breathing.

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